Project Management

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Topics: Leadership, Quality
Quality procedures, Contingency Theory and Theory Y leadership
On this article from Harvard Business Review :
Beyond Theory Y

Morse and Lorsch found that the style of leadership must be contingent to the nature of work.

For example :
- On a R&D activity, people need more liberty (Theory Y)
- On a Manufacturing activity (Theory X), where we perform mainly repetitive tasks

On my organization, an IT company that produces softwares, we are in the middle.

Some of our tasks are repetitive, like creating a data grid where we can insert/update/delete data.

Some are more creative/"problem solving" types of tasks, like bug hunting, or designing a screen for never-seen-before needs.

We've been thinking for a long time about coding rules and standards for these insert/delete/update data grids.

However, upper management seems to be very reluctant in standardizing anything (because they want to "please" employees to retain them). Yet, they complain all the time about quality.

Renowned Edwards Deming said that 85% of quality is the responsibility of management.

How would you influence upper management so that they are more involved in facilitating quality in the organization ?
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The only way you can influence upper management is by tailoring your story to their need. You have to help them visualize what the end result will be. The more vivid, the better. One more thing: you have about five minutes to get their attention and have them agree to your recommendation. Bonne chance!
Alexandre -

Assuming you can get their attention, I'd use analogies, story telling or other techniques to help them see that it's not a "one or the other" decision between increasing quality and empowering teams & individuals. Why not get the employees involved in developing the standards - that will likely result in more pragmatic, better quality standards...


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"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. "

- Albert Einstein